I just returned from a performance in Toronto on Saturday which, to me, was one of my most complete performances to date. I didn't do everything technically perfectly, but I was able to get my voice to do what I wanted it to to portray the character I was playing. I was doing a "New Opera" workshop with Tapestry Opera and met a lot of talented and was impressed with how relevant contemporary opera has made the art form. The topics ranged from drug use to family relations through divorce and just about everything in between. One of the wonderful things about doing contemporary opera in your native tongue is the immediacy of the music and text. The entire audience seemed to relate literally to every scene. This workshop gave me a new appreciation for contemporary opera and I look forward to delving into this repertoire more in the future.
Immediately following my time in Toronto, I went to Indianapolis for an audition and am now preparing to go back down to NYC for another audition. I also have to make a video recording for another audition and am continuing to work on new repertoire for next season. Upcoming, I will be performing at a benefit concert and also performing my annual recital at my church in Rochester. This year's theme for my recital is Spirituals and Contemporary American Song, somewhat keeping in the theme from my time at Toronto.
After a month of debate and thinking I have decided to continue forward with my language learning, instead of cycling back around. This past weekend I began my Russian studies. I am starting with Michel Thomas, which is a great introduction into the language. I also have started listening to some Russian talk radio using my TuneIn radio app on my phone when I am in areas that have wi-fi (work). In March I plan to start using LingQ to get some more input and begin learning words and familiarizing myself with structure.
I decided to continue forward because I have started looking at Russian repertoire in my singing and I have found that I sing better when I understand the language I am singing in, even if it is at a basic level. I do need to go back and bring my other languages up to their next respective level, but I feel that getting a basic working knowledge of Russian is more important than bringing my other languages to higher levels of fluency at this point. I will keep you all updated as I move forward.